When we think about random acts of kindness or RAOK, as we like to call them, the focus tends to be on the word ‘act’. We need to get out of this mindset, and we need to do it for two reasons.
Firstly, the word ‘act’ conjures up imagery of physically doing things that have tangible and visual evidence or outcomes.
Secondly, when you place so much emphasis on having to physically do something, the main focus of its purpose (in our case the kindness) can become clouded or even lost.
Keep your focus on the kindness, and remember that an ‘act’ doesn’t necessarily require large amounts of doing at all. How about thinking about what we are saying instead?
My challenge for you in this blog is to think about your words this week. Can you give someone a compliment and turn their day around? I guarantee, if you say something just a little bit unexpected to someone (and it’s kind), then those words will stay with them for a good long time. I’d put money on it even making them smile at random points throughout the day or even week later on.
Think about the last time you got an unexpected compliment.
You’re smiling about it right now, aren’t you?
However, we should get some ground rules established before you get involved. You can start by running the compliment through your head before you say it:
Are you going to be accused of hitting on someone as a result? We’ve all been there.
Could the compliment be misinterpreted and actually end up offending someone? I’m really good at that myself; it’s a talent.
Does the compliment sound genuine? You can only get so excited about how well your neighbour has spaced out their sunflowers before it really starts to sound like you’re taking the mick!
How good would it feel to be the reason to make somebody smile today, just because you opened your mouth and said something kind?